Q.1: Which of the following does not lead to the spread of democracy?
(a) Struggle by the people
(b) Invasion by foreign countries
(c) End of colonialism
(d) People’s desire for freedom
Q.2: Which of the following statements is true about today’s world?
(a) Monarchy as a form of government has vanished.
(b) The relationship between different countries has become more democratic than ever.
(c) In more and more countries rulers are being elected by the people.
(d) There are no military dictators in the world.
Q.3: Use one of the following statements to complete the sentence:
Democracy in the international organizations requires that . . . .
(a) The rich countries should have a greater say.
(b) Countries should have a say according to their military power.
(c) Countries should be treated with respect in their proportion to their population.
(d) All countries in the world should be treated equally.
Q.5: What are the difficulties people face in a non-democratic country? Giveanswers drawing from the examples given in this chapter.
Solution: People face various difficulties in a non-democratic country as we have seen in case of Chile, Myanmar, Ghana, Pakistan, Poland, Nepal etc. For example,
- In non-democratic countries, the people have no security of life. For example, in Chile thousands of people were killed by military rulers.
- People are not free to express their opinions. Criticizing the government or rulers in a non-democratic country would lead to severe punishments.
- There is no freedom for the people either to elect their government or to be elected. Even if they find any government or ruler not to their benefit or well-being, they can not change it since there is no election.
- In non-democratic countries no opposition parties or opposition leader is tolerated.As we have seen in Poland during the regime of a non-democratic government, the workers are not allowed to form their independent Trade Unions. Only such unions can survive which rightly or wrongly support the policies of the government.
- In absence of a democratic government there is no socio-economic equality. Societies in such countries remain divided among privileged and non-privileged classes which result in corruption in every department of the government. Ordinary people can not aspire for any post. People are always at the mercy of the autocratic ruler or the dictator.
Q.6: Which freedoms are usually taken away when a democracy is overthrown by the military?
Solution: Freedoms denied to the people when a democracy is overthrown by the military are so many. In 1973, a military rule or a non-democratic government was established in Chile by General Augusto Pinochet while in Poland, there was a non-democratic government led by General Jeruzelski before 1989. We have seen people were denied many of their freedoms when they did not have democracies, for example:
- The people had no ‘right to freedom of speech’ as was the case with the women of Calama in Chile.
- The people had no ‘right to from associations or trade unions’ as was the case with the workers like a crane operator and an n electrician in Poland.
- In Poland thousands of Solidarity members were put in prison. Freedom to organize, protest and express opinions were taken away.
- In Chile more than three thousand people were killed by the military. The life of the people was at the mercy of the ruler.
- The people had no ‘right to have free elections’ as was the case in Poland before the dawn of democracy there.
- It was because of the above reasons i.e. no freedom of expression, no freedom of forming their own Trade Unions, no right to have free elections, socio-economic inequality and lack of security of life that the people liked to have change in their dictatorial government.
Q.7: Which of the following positions can contribute to democracy at the global level? Give reasons for your answer in each case.
(a) My country gives more money to international institutions. Therefore I want to be treated with more respect and exercise more power.
(b) My country may be small or poor. But my voice must be heard with equal respect, because these decisions will affect my country.
(c) Wealthy nations will have a grater say in international affairs. They can not let their interests suffer just because they are outnumbered by poor nations.
(d) Big countries like India must have a greater say in international organizations.
(a) If any country gives more money to international institutions and its citizens want more respect and more power, it would not contribute to democracy at the global level. Every country and its citizens enjoy equal status whether it is a poor or a rich country. Equality is the basic principle of democracy.
(b) If any country is small or poor but its citizens are treated equally and their voice is heard with equal respect it will promote to equality and freedom of expression. If this is done at the global level, then this will definitely contribute to democracy at the global level. Because of these two facts we can say that the (b) position is nearer to democracy.
(c) The third position would also not lead to democracy at the global level because there should be no distinction between the rich nations and the poor nations. Otherwise it will not help in bringing socio-economic equality which is one of the important aspects of democracy. At the global level all the countries, whether poor or rich, should be treated at par with each other.
(d) The last (d) position would also not contribute democracy at the global level because the sizes or the geographical area of a country should not be a condition of superiority. However, in my opinion in international organizationslike UN, General Assembly should become like a world parliament with representatives from each country in proportion to the population of the country.